Disasters & Accidents

Sara Thompson / Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde

A new, tribally-run fire department is becoming a reality for the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the development will improve response time to emergencies.


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly everyone in the world. Here in Oregon, people have already been preparing for a disaster to varying degrees for years. KLCC’s Rachael McDonald reports on what we’re learning now that might help in the next crisis.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As more Oregon businesses and institutions are re-opening following COVID-19 lockdowns, state lawmakers are looking ahead to a possible second wave of the virus later this year.

USFS Pacific Northwest / Flickr.com

A state wildlife official says bear sightings are seeing a definite uptick lately, all across Oregon.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Construction continues at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, concerns surround the safety and appropriateness of having crews working during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In response to the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic local utilities are offering assistance to their customers to help them cope. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

While the coronavirus stimulus package will alleviate the burden for many Americans affected by the pandemic, an Oregon Congressman fears there’s confusion that could cause delays.

Brian Bull / KLCC

Grocery stores and markets are deemed “essential” in this pandemic, meaning they’ll stay open. KLCC’s Brian Bull checked in with stores in Eugene and Springfield on how they safeguard both customers and staff. 

Brian Bull / KLCC

The glut of spring break tourists last weekend drove coastal communities to collectively limit reservations for hotels, RV parks, and vacation rentals through April. KLCC’s Brian Bull recently talked to Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer about that order -and other efforts within Lincoln County- to curb COVID-19.

Oregon Veterans’ Home


As of this morning, the Oregon Health Authority has announced 24 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 161.

Facebook.com | Canva.com

In this state of coronavirus emergency, grocery stores have empty shelves, schools have closed, and people are wondering what’s next. A new Facebook group called the Lane County Mutual Aid Network hopes to mitigate the crisis.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

A proposal to dramatically expand an earthquake early warning system in Oregon has been stymied by the turmoil over an unrelated bill at the state capitol. For our latest story in our series on Oregon’s Natural Resources and Resilience funded by the University of Oregon Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, we took at look at how the political stalemate in Salem will delay the rollout of the ShakeAlert system.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A year ago, the region was under a foot and a half of dense snow.  Ice and falling branches knocked down many power lines, causing massive outages. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, utility work continues to protect against future disasters.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Oregon House voted Friday to advance a measure that would establish building standards for critical infrastructure in tsunami zones.

John Houdeshell

A firefighter, who was the victim of a hit and run on the McKenzie Highway, recently learned he will receive some back wages and compensation.

Oregon DEQ

The City of Salem says its drinking water continues to be safe after a truck crash on Sunday resulted in fuel spilling into the North Santiam River.


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality continues to oversee cleanup and monitoring near the site of Sunday’s truck crash and fuel release on Hwy 22 about 60 miles east of Salem.

The highway will be closed from just west of Idanha to the junction with Hwy 20, from milepost 53 to 81, until Friday or Saturday.

On Monday, the Oregon Department of Transportation was able to assess the damage and determined that it will take several days to remove contaminated soil and repair the road. An area of roadway about 600 feet long needs to be completely excavated and rebuilt.


A tanker truck carrying more than 10,000 gallons of fuel overturned Sunday on Highway 22 about 70 miles east of Salem, spilling more than half of its load. An unknown amount was released into the North Santiam River, which provides drinking water for nearby communities and the city of Salem.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

An Oregon House panel advanced a measure Thursday that would establish building standards for critical infrastructure in tsunami zones.

U.S. Coast Guard / Flickr.com

The Cascadia Playbook is a state government blueprint for responding to a major earthquake that could kill up to 25,000 people in the Pacific Northwest. 


Three family members of former University of Oregon baseball star J.J. Altobelli were among those who died in the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Basin Tackle Charleston

Three crab fishermen were rescued last (Tuesday) night after their boat was found washed up on the North Jetty, near the entrance to Coos Bay. US Coast Guard and local agencies searched for hours before locating the survivors.


A 7-year-old girl died and a 4-year-old boy is missing after they were swept into the ocean in the Falcon Cove area near the Clatsop/ Tillamook county line on Saturday.

Aubrey Bulkeley

Local firefighter Nathan Kunasek has started a non-profit organization to train the community in techniques to stop life threatening bleeding. He feels passionately that all educators can and should be first responders to emergencies. KLCC went to a training at Malabon Elementary School in Eugene’s Bethel District. 

Rachael McDonald

In a natural disaster, you may not be able to get help from first responders right away. Your neighbors may be the only people who can help you. For this month's story in our series on Oregon’s Natural Resources and Resilience funded by the University of Oregon Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, we found neighbors in Eugene who are working together to plan for disaster.

Albany Fire Department

Fire officials say a non-injury blaze at South Albany High School this week does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

Megan Brezovar; Brian Bull / Green Hill Humane Society; KLCC

After three months’ intervention, animal rescue operations are largely wrapping up at a homestead near Veneta that was previously overrun with cats.  Reporter Brian Bull has this update exclusive to KLCC.

Karen Richards


When it comes to near-shore earthquakes and tsunamis, Oregon’s coastal communities have moved beyond awareness and are taking action. As part of our series on Oregon's Natural Resources and Resilence and funded by the UO Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, we find there are some controversies and complications. 

City of Corvallis/Police Dept.

Benton County made its case to voters to create a taxing district specifically to cover 911 emergency dispatch services.  And voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 20-303 last night, with 61 percent saying “yes”.


Last February’s heavy snowstorm disrupted many communities across Lane County, including the city of Oakridge. Thousands of downed trees closed Highway 58 for almost a week.  Residents also coped with power outages and a stuck train.